California sends 500 ventilators back to national stockpile

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship US Naval Ship Mercy. | AP Photo

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship US Naval Ship Mercy. | Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool

OAKLAND — California is loaning 500 ventilators to states like New York where the coronavirus is exacting a deeper toll, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday.

„California is stepping up to help our fellow Americans in New York and across the country who are being impacted the hardest right now by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Newsom said in a statement.


The act of generosity completes a bi-coastal aid package after both Washington and Oregon lent medical supplies to New York, which is battling the nation’s worst outbreak. Ventilators from California will flow into the Strategic National Stockpile. Oregon announced Saturday it was sending 140 ventilators to New York, while Washington said Sunday it was returning more than 400 of the machines.

Newsom said this weekend that California would „absolutely, unequivocally“ lend a hand to other states if possible. Some California health officials have gained more confidence in recent days that the state’s infection curve is flattening, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, which took the nation’s earliest shelter-in-place actions.

But Newsom cautioned that his own state is equipping for a surge anticipated to climax in the coming weeks.

“To the extent we have the resources, resourceful folks including people, not just PPE, we would consider doing that,“ Newsom said Saturday. „But let me just make this clear: we are preparing for a scenario where we need 50,000 beds, we need hundreds of millions of line items of PPE, we are working day and night to find new ventilators.“

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